Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Monday he was confident of reaching a deal to receive Western fighter jets. The talk followed a meeting with the British Prime Minister during his tour of Europe in search of more support against Russian aggression.
Zelensky traveled to the UK after visiting France, Germany and Italy over the weekend.
Dressed in his trademark military garb, he met Rishi Sunak at Chequers, the country residence of British prime ministers, about 40 miles northwest of London.
At the end of the meeting, the Ukrainian President said that they had discussed Creation of the “Coalition of Fighters” And he said he hoped to reach an agreement soon so that his Western allies could hand over the equipment.
“We want to have an alliance for aircraft and I am very optimistic about it, we have talked about it and I think it will happen very soon. They will find out about the decisions that I consider very important”, he said in front of the cameras. However, he specified that “a little more” work is needed to achieve this.
Sunak declared himself ready to play “an important role in this coalition”, assuring it was a complex issue.
Despite their strong support to Ukraine against Russia, NATO countries have so far refused to provide modern fighter jets.
However, Sunak has confirmed The UK will help train Ukrainian pilots as part of its collaboration.
And he said he would talk to leaders of other countries about air support at upcoming Council of Europe summits in Iceland this week and the G7 in Japan.
Anti-aircraft missiles and drone attacks
The British government announced it would send “hundreds” of anti-aircraft defense missiles and long-range attack drones to Ukraine in the coming months.
The UK just last week became the first western country to offer the long-range cruise missile, Storm Shadow, to Ukraine.
Designed to travel up to 250 km, more than any other weapon ever supplied to Kiev by Western countries, They have the ability to reach areas of eastern Ukraine controlled by the Russian military.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that the British weapons would have no major impact on the conflict but would “cause even more destruction.”
Soon after, Russia claimed to have destroyed a storm shadow in the past 24 hours.
Russia also claimed that one of its warplanes intercepted a French and a German military aircraft over the Baltic Sea, two NATO countries that tried to “infringe” its airspace, and forced them to turn away .
On Sunday, France promised to deliver dozens of light tanks and armored vehicles to Ukraine. And the German government announced a 2.7 billion euro (about $2.9 billion) military aid package. Which includes tanks, armored vehicles, surveillance drones and four new Iris-T air defense systems.
Li Hui, a senior Chinese envoy at the diplomatic level, will make a two-day visit to Kiev on Tuesday, a Ukrainian government official told AFP.
Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Moscow in March and was criticized for refusing to condemn Putin’s war.
“Our relations with China have the character of a special, strategic partnership,” Peskov replied to French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday.
on the eastern Ukrainian military front, A Russian missile attack killed four people as it struck a hospital in the town of Avdiivka. The announcement was made by the governor of Donetsk, Pavlo Kirilenko.
Not long ago, Ukraine claimed a “first success” in its offensive around Bakhmut, a town in the country’s east mostly under Russian control where fierce fighting has been raging for months.
For the past several days, the army of Ukraine has been claiming that it is moving forward in its defense. On Sunday, Ukrainian authorities announced that they had captured “more than ten enemy positions north and south of the Bakhmut perimeter.”
Russia claimed that two of its military commanders were killed in fighting near the city.
On the other hand, seven people, including a senior official set up by Russia and a teenager, were injured in an explosion in Lugansk, a Ukrainian city under Russian control, local officials said.